FEED TRUST WITH REAL THINGS
There’s a spectrum of honest at play in the ways things are made. From a lack of honesty to a deeper commitment to it. When an object is made from a material that does the job well, that’s an honest contribution. When the person selling it is honest about the materials they used, that’s an honest service. When suppliers are honest about where they get their materials, that’s honest distribution.
Honesty is the fuel to trustworthiness.
It’s the child’s hand clapping that give trust-faeries their wings. The more you do it the more wings are born. The more trust has wings the greater our society benefits. Can you imagine a world where we spent even just half of our “Is this a real deal and what’s the true story” time on something else? Something more fulfilling?
I suspect I spend several hours a week fact checking anything from materials to prices. Schedules to priorities. That’s a terrible waste, all because society is currently rewarding “sales pitch manipulation” instead of fair exchange. How can we ever expect to get to the NEXT level of emergent systems without at least going through a transition of cleaning up the bullshit?
Take jewelry for example.
I can source from the most reputable companies, use recycled gems and metals, and produce work with no shortcuts taken. And I do. And yet there are layers of the supply chain, from mountain-ore to my jeweler’s bench, that getting eyes on let alone accurate information is difficult if not impossible.
I can’t control those layers yet, we’re still working on creating that sort of market pressure. But I can control the quality of my work. If someone comes for a Gold piece because they study alchemy, love the symbolism, or simply like the look, I choose to not give them Gold *plated* work.
There’s a strange irony in a person talking about personal clarification and refinement wearing, let alone selling, a piece and calling it Gold when it’s actually something cheaper, with different qualities, plated in a developing country because the per-unit cost lower. If that’s what you want to make, I support you. If that’s the business you want, get it!
But you contribute to the progress of this industry -and this species- when you maintain honesty. When you feed trustworthiness. When you create congruence in what you say to what you do.
And if you’re using that funky supply chain, or profit margins and per unit costs to justify the choice… I get it. That’s the nature of the system we built as capitalist-driven creatures. But just say it like it is. And sell it as it is. Or make something different.
I want to encourage you to contribute to trust-building.
I want to encourage you to aim your sights at better.
I want to encourage you to hold your standards.
And that whole capitalist numbers-driven thing?
The key here is not to magically fix it all at once. Some of you were skeptical of win-win dynamics, and you have a justified right to be. It’s a far cry from where we are today. But that’s not what we’re doing. If I thought we could flip the switch overnight I’d be about as useful as a homeless philosopher on the beach talking up good ideas.
Lovely sentiment with not much momentum.
Because there’s a gap, between where we are and where we want to be.
If you’re looking at the gap, then looking at the past, and saying, ‘Nope. No fucking way,’ then unfortunately there’s not much I can do for you. I’m not here to change your mind. And quite honestly, I’m not available for your pessimism. If you think that I, or the folks I’m collaborating with, aren’t aware of the horrendous track record that humanity has written, then you’ve not given us much credit. And that’s your loss. But unfortunately it’s also *our* loss, because that’s a lack of trust.
And trust is the foundation of a truly integrated society.
So back to that magic fix. We’re not going to get it. By all qualified measures we’re looking at extinction at best, and total planetary fuckery at “pretty likely”. We don’t get to choose whether we go extinct or thrive. We get to choose whether we let it go to shit or try to make it to the next level.
That’s a transition, my friends.
The win-win world isn’t ready, and we’re not ready for it.
But there’s PLENTY of prep work we can be doing.
What are you doing to help set the groundwork?
What could you be doing to help set the stage?
I want you to look at your industry. Your expertise. Your place of business.
I want you to find the shittiest thing about it. The thing that everyone does even though it sucks.
The thing that might help you hit profit quotas but ruins the world a little more every time.
And I want you to consider (just consider!) doing the exact opposite.
Consider the possibility that people do give a shit.
That they might be pessimistic on the outside
But they’re hopeful on the deep inside.
Consider the fact that even if this change
Increases your cost of service by 10%, or even 20%,
And you increase your prices to cover that increased cost,
That people will feel a little more trusting. That they’ll see you
Being a little more honest. And they’ll happily go for a better service
With a better impact, for a bit more cash, and they’ll thank you on the way out.
Consider the possibility that you could subvert some of the shit in your sphere of influence,
And contribute, even if just a little bit, towards pointing the needle away from “fucked”
And a little bit closer to “we care, we trust, we’re here, we’re committed, let’s go.”